When we moved beck to Des Moines I remember being so happy that the kids would be able to know their grandparents better and visa versa. I was looking forward to a bigger family unit and the kids have truly loved every minute of Iowa for exactly that reason. It is special to spend holidays and birthdays with grandparents and cousins. It is exciting to have dinners out and afternoons at the lake with the people who love you the most, something I never really had myself growing up, and something we have not taken for granted in our short return to Des Moines. They say it takes a village to raise a child and a village they have had.
What I didn't realize before we came back, but what I was missing so desperately, was that it also takes a village to support the mom with that child. God provided a larger support system for me here then I ever even dreamed about. Neighbors, old friends, best friends, relatives, teachers, doctors.
The list goes on, and my dad, well he has been the front line of my village. He has always been my number one fan, and he has always been supportive but I only let him do that from a far. Mainly because of proximity, but partly because I was just being overly independent. When we moved here and Todd started to travel nonstop my dad was the shoulder I could lean on. I needed help and he never stopped trying. He has picked the kids up from school when I had appointments, he has fertilized and mowed our lawn, he has taken us out to dinner when I was tired and at my wits end. He has done it all for the boys and I know even more so for me.
My heart will break when we move so far away, and so will his. I will take all the things that he taught me in the past two years with us. The main lessons being hire out your lawn work , scooping poop should be left to the professionals, and give yourself a break-hire a maid. The boys will miss the trips to Dairy Queen and spins around the block in his fast red car. What I will miss is the most simple of gestures. Just him stopping by to bring me the Sunday paper and his latest batch of vegetable beef soup.
If your reading this dad, and I know you are because that's what biggest fans do, thank you.
p.s. I took down the picture that doesn't look me just for you, because that's what daughters do-they listen to their Dads